With survival type stories, I’m either here or there, they either win me over completely (This is Not a Test) or annoy me to death. Monument 14 kind of fell in the middle, there were parts which were riveting and had me on tenterhooks and there were others which felt a little flat.Monument 14 starts off with a bang. On the way to school Dean’s bus is pelted with hail stones so big that they’re tearing through the bus. There’s chaos on the road that causes their bus to overturn. Kids end up dead and it’s only because of Mrs. Wooly the elementary middle school driver that helps them out and helps them hide out in a store. When Mrs. Wooly goes to search for help, the 14 kids are left in charge.The kids were left in an awful situation, they hadn’t a clue about what was going on outside, but still had to try and survive on their own means. There were always dangers lurking outside who were finding a safe place to stay, but who could they trust? Could they ever trust each other? The kids were left with a lot of responsibility, they had some really young children to look after, keep them occupied and give them the necessary attention whenever they were distraught. Niko surprised me with his level headedness; he was calm, collected and always wary of anyone joining their group. I liked the stability and routine he tried to achieve amongst the group. But I really felt sorry for him when he had no-one at first and was just left at the side with everyone clambering at the popular lads Brayden and Jake. Dean was a hard mc to like, I did enjoy getting the story through his eyes, but wasn’t really able to connect to his character as I would have liked. Maybe that’s why I found it myself favouring Niko and Josie more, in my eyes they were characters I would more likely to get on with if I found myself in a similar situation. But the secondary characters definitely made up for it. I enjoyed getting stories from Max, Henry and Caroline, but definitely would have liked to get more of their back stories.My feelings about Monument 14 are kind of hot and cold, I did find a lot of the time some scenes were really drawn out and my attention wavered quite a bit. But then we had some great pacier scenes with the risk of danger that I found myself zipping through in a frenzy. As I’m so torn, I’m not actually sure whether I would give the sequel a try, the way things were left, I definitely do want to find out how things end up, but I don’t really feel in a rush to do so. Monument 14 was a great start to a series, but I wish that it had left more of a lasting impression with me.